Splat! In the blink of an eye, an unsuspecting insect is obliterated, leaving its gooey remains plastered to your windshield. There is nothing uncommon about this tragic collision, but perhaps we can extract some insight.

First off, from this moment forward, when you hear the word windshield you shall no longer think of a pane of glass. Instead, you will imagine a medieval wooden shield, glowing with the mystical power of wind. Now let’s examine the collision more closely, dissecting the insect’s demise.

Moments before impact, the insect, likely a common fly, was minding its own business, foraging for sustenance or pursuing a mate. By some primal instinct, the fly was drawn in the direction of the busy street. Unable to comprehend the danger which lay ahead, the fly blissfully set forth toward its doom. The fly was not suicidal, nor was it attempting to impress its friends, it was merely obeying its programming, which does not recognize large, fast-moving objects as a threat.

The fly would never discover what wonders lay on the other side of the road. It would never again savor the sweet taste of feces, or enjoy repeatedly landing on a human’s face, driving them mad. The fly’s hopes and dreams were dashed as its body burst from the impact, but just before disintegrating on your shield of wind, the fly’s life flashed, in a thousand images, before its large, red, compound eyes. It experienced a moment of clarity, as the insignificance of its existence became apparent before the candle of life was snuffed out. The car, on tire, would mar and mire the lowly insect would not avail. The mountain smoked beneath the moon.

With mild shock and disgust, you reach for the switch which triggers the wipers and fluid. But before you wash away the only remaining evidence that this creature existed, examine it. Are you watching closely? There is no skin, no eyes, no wings, nor blood or any colored thing. Apparently this clear liquid represents the complex inner workings of a fly. How can this be? How can a creature function when it appears to be comprised of nothing more than a drop of water? There are two possibilities:

The first explanation could be that flies are actually enchanted raindrops brought to life through magic, much like golems. When they crash into windshields they become what they always were – a very small drop.

The only other option is that flies are, in fact, made of water, much like water hyacinths. Perhaps smashing a water hyacinth into a windshield at high speed would also produce only clear liquid. Fortunately, science can only teach us so much about the world around us, so we are left to use our imaginations.